One thing I knew I wanted to do before I even got to Australia was visiting the set of my favourite TV soap, Home and Away. (And I don’t care what you Aussies say, Home and Away is great and so much better than the crappy soaps we get over here so shush 😛 )
About an hour’s bus ride out of Sydney is Palm Beach, the set of some of the main locations in Summer Bay. The area is a quiet one with gorgeous big houses dotted around the hillsides just off the beach. Whether you’re there for Home and Away or not, the beach is beautiful and a lot quieter and relaxing than the likes of Bondi Beach.
When we arrived, there were no camera crews or actors around but there were a few people milling about obviously waiting for something, so we knew we were in the right place.
To pass the time while we waited for filming to start, we took a stroll along the beach just like the characters regularly do and explored the other spots of Summer Bay that I recognised like the walkway down to the beach and the fence that runs along the grass where characters often perch looking out at the ocean.
We popped our heads into the Surf Club but, unfortunately, Alf Stewart was nowhere to be seen.
As this was a few years ago, I met some of the older cast who are no longer in the show including Geoff Campbell who, in typical Aussie fashion, had just come out of the water after a surf; the Holden family who were even better looking in real life; and some cast members I didn’t recognise such as Ruby Buckton who hadn’t yet come into the show back home.
It ended up being an extremely long day waiting around for the cast and crew, watching them filming and then waiting till they were done for the day and able to speak to the public. Alex, bless him, only began to whinge a little when it started to get dark and I still showed no signs of wanting to leave!
When we finally arrived back at the hostel in Sydney, Home and Away was on the TV and it suddenly seemed very surreal! Now though, when I’m sat watching it at home, I often forget that I’ve been there at all as the place was so chilled and not like a TV set in the slightest!
If you want to visit Summer Bay yourself and catch a glimpse of them filming, they usually film on Mon-Wed. I emailed the network so I could find out for definite a few days before, although there are apparently now tours you can do. Check out Back to the Bay for more info.
I think I need a trip back to Australia just so I can go and see all the new cast now. The Braxton brothers would definitely be top of my list to get a pic with. For their acting skills…obviously 😉